Cigar Review- Oliva Saison

Wrapper: Ecuadorian Habano
Filler: Nicaraguan
Binder: Nicaraguan
Size: 5 x 50 “Robusto”
Body: Medium/Full
Price: $4.00 by the box. $5.25 by the 5 pack


Note: 12-9-2013 When I wrote this review, the cigar was basically right out of the paddock. So you will have to forgive me for acting the fool. Cheers.

There is diddly-squat about this cigar online except for the usual suspects: CI and Which makes me think it is a house cigar Oliva made for them. The cigar is not even on the Oliva web site.

I’ve smoked one last week and liked it; although I feel I lit it up a little on the green side.

First thing I notice is that the price is right.
The construction is solid. Not a single soft spot. But loads of veins; some rather large. The single cap is well done. The Ecuadorian wrapper has a nice light brown color with a tinge of red. The wrapper is very smooth and oily.

I clip the cap and find aromas of cinnamon, hay, cocoa, spice, and a little bit of coffee and cedar.
Time to light up.

The first puffs are redolent with red pepper. The natural sweetness is bolstered by some cocoa. Smoke billows and the draw is excellent. Creaminess appears early in the cigar’s flavor profile. There is a sweet stone fruit. Apricot. Sweet with a bite of tartness. So far, so good.
The char line is excellent. I’ve had trouble with several different cigars lately and I was beginning to wonder if it was me, or a curse. So this is refreshing.

Back in the day, I enjoyed large sticks. In my old age, I have turned towards the preference of small is better. The robusto is a great stick for getting to the sweet spot and becoming a flavor bomb early.

I take a sip of water and the red pepper obliterates the rest of the flavors.

The first third is about flavors I wouldn’t expect in an Oliva except for the V and Master Blends. The cigar has a lot of punch. More so than the other blends with letters as identifiers.

The first third sold me on the cigar. It developed an earthiness as well as some woodiness and leather. Seems as though it is gearing up for something. And in fact, my first try at this cigar is now confirmed as being too green compared to what I am smoking now.
The second third begins. Flavors are popping. The spiciness has tamped down to allow other flavors to scurry past. The creaminess is the most prominent player complementing the cocoa, coffee, the fruitiness, the earthiness, and quite a bit of cedar and wood. The char line continues to be spot on.

The cigar comes in four sizes: Robusto, Toro, Churchill and Torpedo. The price range, but the box, goes from $4-$5 each. That’s a good price point for a cigar this good.

I’m amazed, frankly, at the sturdy char line which refuses to waver. The second third sees the body, which started at medium, begin to climb towards full bodied. I can feel the nicotine building.
The second third is officially a flavor bomb. The flavors are extremely bold. The spiciness has returned; but this time, does not overshadow the much stronger flavors.

The ash is very delicate and never makes it past the half inch mark before dismounting the stick.

The cedar, and especially the wood; which by now is a strong oak, are extremely potent. The cigar, at the halfway point, has become nicely balanced and chewy with a very long finish.

I checked Cbid and these sticks can be had for as little as $1.00-$2.00 cheaper than on CI. That’s a bargain. Currently, a box of Churchills, is going for half price with just hours to go on the auction.

I’m glad to see Oliva jump into the New Breed game. The New Breed Tattooed Ones are producing fine cigars that tend to be, for the most part, flavor bombs. The Saison is definitely not old school cigar blending. It is current and affordable and contains wondrous flavors.
On top of that, the robusto takes very little humidor time to get to where the blender intended it to be. Most Olivas takes months to get there.
So it’s affordable and a quick draw.

I am really digging this cigar. Every puff renews that flavor spectrum. The pepper has been tamed and is allowing the flavors to take front and center.

The last third sees the body strengthen. It is most definitely a full bodied cigar now. The flavors continue to be attractive.
Obviously, I highly recommend this stick. It has everything you need in a cigar, with a great price point. I’ve got sticks in my humidor that cost twice as much that are not as good as the Saison.


From the very start, this cigar showed lots of character. It was not shy in showing off its expansive flavor profile and it continued to see that profile enlarge and expand throughout the length of the cigar. Even though this is now a full bodied stick, the nicotine is in my acceptable range.

And, yes, it does reach a level of complexity commensurate with the flavor explosion.
Go to Cbid and get you some.



6 replies

  1. Well, I bought some on your advice, like I usually do. But you know me, I’ll simmer it a liitle first before trying it. Another GREAT review by my favorite…The Katman.

  2. That was a wise move. What a great cigar for $4. But I can’t vouch for the bigger sizes. The robusto was perfect.

  3. Not sure if you remember me or not Kat but I enjoyed your reviews on other cigar Forums…and like the review for this cigar. While I have’t tried it yet…I plan to get a 5 pak and let them rest for a few months and revisit it then. Thanks and take care.

    • Thanks for your kind words. You will have to remind me of your name. Your moniker is familiar but I can’t place it.
      The Saison was a big surprise for me. The price was right and a super flavorful cigar. I’ve only smoked the robusto so I don’t know how flavorful the other sizes are.
      In my old age, I’ve become a Robusto guy. They age quickly and tend to be more flavor intense than the bigger sizes.

  4. Fabulous review, same can be said fat the cigar.
    Stumbled across the stick 6 months ago and completely agree withe the excellent review. I have gone thru almost two boxes and I continue to enjoy them as much as the first one I smoked.
    Keep up the great reviews. -Cigar passionado